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suspension

2Js

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sheridan,wyoming
Year, Model & Trim Level
1992 ford explorer sport
is it possible to convert your radius arm into a link at the frame bracket?
 



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Do you mean like this:

comparison_zps137e84ab.jpg
 






Is there any benefit to either extended radius arms and/or hiem ends, on a stock( NOT lifted), daily driven truck? Does it improve handling, reduce tire wear, or accomplish anything else?
 






Is there any benefit to either extended radius arms and/or hiem ends, on a stock( NOT lifted), daily driven truck? Does it improve handling, reduce tire wear, or accomplish anything else?

I don't think so. It helps your off road capabilities. It also helps to clear bigger tires because they are bent.
 






The main benefit of longer radius arms is that the arc the wheel travels in when it goes up and down is slightly less circular. This would give better tire wear (if perfectly aligned) since one of the shortcomings of the TTB is the outside shoulder wear of tires due to the tight circular arc of wheel travel, though this can be minimized with frequent alignment/suspension checks, so the benefit over a properly maintained stock suspension isn't much.

Without the benefit of a lift, the longer radius arm doesn't do much else, since there is nowhere for the additional possible suspension travel to take place, as the TTB is still limited by the bump stops and the stock length shocks.

If anything, heim joints give worse handling than a bushing, especially on pavement. The main benefit is they allow more suspension flex, with the longer suspension arms. Heim joints, despite their strength, do also wear out, and given their cost, you could replace several sets of polyurethane radius arm bushings for what one set of heims would cost.
 






If anything, heim joints give worse handling than a bushing, especially on pavement. The main benefit is they allow more suspension flex, with the longer suspension arms. Heim joints, despite their strength, do also wear out, and given their cost, you could replace several sets of polyurethane radius arm bushings for what one set of heims would cost.

I can 2nd this. Once we went with the Ballistic Joint (Think Johnny Joint or really big Heim) on our Radius arms we were committed to wheeling and less of street driving. For us we were after suspension travel and not ride quality..

You pick up more vibrations through those types of mounts than you do with the stock post/bushing style.

If our X was more street driven we would switch back to the post/bushing style but since I am the only one that drives it and it isn't a DD I'm leaving it with the Ballistic Joint.

Since someone posted an Arm with a Heim in this thread, here is one with a Ballistic Joint..
3664333154_48697cb376_b.jpg


~Mark
 






What's the difference with the ballistic joint, vs heim? From your pic, it almost looks like the ballistic joint has some rubber "filling" or ring to cushion it.

Going back to what Anime was saying, about the wheel traveling in little circles, it would seem, in my head, that that, along with the angled position of the rear of the stock arm (in relation to the chassis), that as the suspension cycles up and down, the wheels will also move fore and aft, altering the wheelbase and introducing a kind of "bump steer". Since the up/down and therefor, for and aft movement will never be the same on each front wheel, it will introduce an offset in wheelbase, from side to side, like what dirt racers use to get around the corner. Except in this case, instead of using accel/deccel to move the rear axle ("rear steer"), this would do it with the front. Great on a dirt track, but not ideal on the street.

So, what about using the stock style end (post/bushing), or a leaf spring/lower shock mount style, with a bolt through a round bushing, but with an extended arm, and also lowering the rear mount of the arm, so that it sits parallel to the chassis at ride height? It would seem that this would eliminate, or at least minimize any wheelbase change, and allow the suspension to move in a pure vertical arc.

Also, switching to a threaded end, regardless of bushing type, would allow for easy caster (and thrust angle) adjustments.

Granted this would effect ground clearance, but on a street vehicle, it wouldn't matter. I can easily give up 2-3" of clearance in the middle of the chassis, and still have no problem clearing whatever minor obstacles/curbs I may encounter.
 






The wheel, at rest, is (at least ideally) in the middle of the suspension arc, and so when it travels up or down from that position, it only goes aft (back) some, due to the limitation of the radius arm.

It's when you combine this with the same limitation on the arc from the TTB suspension arm that you get the unique characteristics of the TTB/radius arm setup - the wheel/tire travels in an arc limited by two points that are ~90 degrees apart.

The idea behind the longer radius arms (again, ideally) is to have the radius arm about the same length as the TTB arm, so the suspension travel isn't limited by the shorter radius arm. The other benefit of this is you get a smoother "better" suspension arc, or at least less of a weird one because of having one long suspension arm (the TTB) and one short one (the stock radius arm).

You can use a longer radius arm with drop brackets (or even just drop brackets with the stock arms for a small lift), but you will never make the suspension move vertical - it's always going to be limited by those two points and so will always move in that arc limited by two points. You'd need a different suspension setup (like a double A-arm) to get the suspension moving in a vertical-ish arc.

You can use the longer radius arms for street use just fine, but my guess is you won't see much, if any, improvement. If anything, the shorter arms are "better" in some ways, especially with poly bushings and good shocks, since I'd guess they spring back to their normal position quicker than a suspension with longer arms would. The main "advantage" you'd get with longer radius arms on the street would be the tire/wheel staying slightly more vertical at the limits of travel, if that's even an advantage. It might at least feel slightly more like a normal suspension.

If you decide to get longer radius arms, and not do any lift, you'd want to be sure the drop brackets are in a position that keeps the front axle in the same position as stock, since most systems are made for a lift, and take into account the extra distance between the new bracket mounting point and the front axle when the frame is lifted. Otherwise, each front axle would be pushed forward slightly, and so there would be serious alignment issues.

Unless you have a 91-94, your Explorer doesn't have the TTB and radius arms though. '99's have a stock suspension arm setup that's already better suited for the street than the TTB.
 






If you decide to get longer radius arms, and not do any lift, you'd want to be sure the drop brackets are in a position that keeps the front axle in the same position as stock, since most systems are made for a lift, and take into account the extra distance between the new bracket mounting point and the front axle when the frame is lifted. Otherwise, each front axle would be pushed forward slightly, and so there would be serious alignment issues.

Pushing the axle forward an inch or so actually has some benefits (unless you go too far, then you'll have the passengerside axle shaft hitting against the drop bracket (or it's bolt) supporting the driverside beam). Improvement of the steering ackerman response being among the benefits. Shouldn't cause any alignment problems.

I agree about the extended arms though... At stock height, there just isn't enough wheel travel available to reap much benefit from them (they start to show their benefits better if you have about 2.5" or more lift). This doesn't mean short arms are better on the street though.
 






Pushing the axle forward an inch or so actually has some benefits (unless you go too far, then you'll have the passengerside axle shaft hitting against the drop bracket (or it's bolt) supporting the driverside beam). Improvement of the steering ackerman response being among the benefits. Shouldn't cause any alignment problems.

Pushing each TTB beam forward an inch on the outside would probably cause some serious issues. That would give so much toe-in I'm sure the outside shoulder of the tires would wear down in short order. The axle pivot bushings would also wear out pretty fast, since they'd be stressed keeping the axles in that position.


I agree about the extended arms though... At stock height, there just isn't enough wheel travel available to reap much benefit from them (they start to show their benefits better if you have about 2.5" or more lift). This doesn't mean short arms are better on the street though.

My experience is that hard cornering *is* actually better since the change in wheel/tire camber (to the negative) works with the body roll to give better tire contact. This isn't the case with performance vehicles that stay flatter under hard cornering, but of course that isn't the case with a top-heavy SUV.

Even if the shorter arms aren't any better, I'm pretty sure the extended arms wouldn't give much/any benefit to make them worth the cost or effort in installing at stock height.

I *do* agree with the premise they operate under, making the effective radius arm length about equal to the TTB beam length, making the suspension pivot at about a 45 degree angle - but I'm not so sure that is the *best* design for on and off road. It is effective for getting the most travel out of the TTB (and Twin-I beams on the 2WD), but might not be the best solution for street use, in terms of handling on a SUV at least.
 






Pushing each TTB beam forward an inch on the outside would probably cause some serious issues. That would give so much toe-in I'm sure the outside shoulder of the tires would wear down in short order. The axle pivot bushings would also wear out pretty fast, since they'd be stressed keeping the axles in that position.

Maybe you need to tell that to the TTB on both of my trucks. They are pushed as far forward as possible without that bolt hitting. Making sharp turns in parking lots I leave far less noticeable tracks from the outside edge of my front tires. Bushings are pretty resilient... It's maybe a 1° change on the angle of each beam.

FYI, the toe-in is adjustable at the tierods (and it actually goes toe-out if you don't readjust it afterward). ;)
 






Maybe you need to tell that to the TTB on both of my trucks. They are pushed as far forward as possible without that bolt hitting. Making sharp turns in parking lots I leave far less noticeable tracks from the outside edge of my front tires. Bushings are pretty resilient... It's maybe a 1° change on the angle of each beam.

FYI, the toe-in is adjustable at the tierods (and it actually goes toe-out if you don't readjust it afterward). ;)

Well, a lifted truck isn't the same.

If you push the TTB forward each side on a correctly aligned stock height vehicle, you're going to seriously throw off the alignment and wear some parts driving it that way.

If you push each end "forward" on a vehicle that has been lifted 5-6 inches, yeah, you probably help the alignment because you're really "pushing" the TTB back into the "correct" position and/or compensating for the additional friction/load of the larger, wider tires and wider track, and so when driving, the TTB is in the "correct" position (since each arm is pushed back some when driving foward). Most prefab lifts are pretty poor and take advantage of how rough the TTB is when it comes to positioning and aligment. A custom lift or custom radius arms that use jigs or work backwards from keeping the axle in the "correct" position (taking into account that the arms do go backwards some when driving) and building the lift around that should give better results without having to resort to pushing the axle forward.

Whatever works for ya, though.
 






What's the difference with the ballistic joint, vs heim? From your pic, it almost looks like the ballistic joint has some rubber "filling" or ring to cushion it.


In short, the Ballistic joint is similar to a Johnny Joint. Think about it as a rebuild-able Heim joint that has misalignment spacers built in.

It uses synthetic race (I can't remember what is is made of) that the spiracle ball type thing (with alignment spacer as part of it) ride on. On top of that, one side is threaded so as the joint wears you can re-adjust it (tighten) them to take up the slack.

I've been using mine on the street and trail for more than a few years. At best guess, I'd say around 30k miles. I did just rebuild them (replaced the inner races) and am using their newer style.

~Mark
 






If you push the TTB forward each side on a correctly aligned stock height vehicle, you're going to seriously throw off the alignment and wear some parts driving it that way.

Ummm... I never said that you didn't have to realign it afterward. That's why you realign it.

And I'm not running a "prefab" lift either.

What are you basing your comments on anyway? How do you figure the axle pushed forward, say, to within ½" clearance of the driverside beam bolt is any different on a lifted truck than if the axle is at ½" clearance on a stock truck? (FYI, the clearance at the bolt stock is over an inch, maybe 1½ inches). Have you actually ever tried doing this? (I'm guessing not)
 






What are you basing your comments on anyway? How do you figure the axle pushed forward, say, to within ½" clearance of the driverside beam bolt is any different on a lifted truck than if the axle is at ½" clearance on a stock truck? (FYI, the clearance at the bolt stock is over an inch, maybe 1½ inches). Have you actually ever tried doing this? (I'm guessing not)

The stock TTB/TIB beams and alignment specs already take into account how much the suspension will be pushed backwards when driving, so intentionally pushing the beams forward more than that throws off the alignment. If you re-align it after that, you don't really get much other than more pushed forward beams and constant binding/tension at the pivot bushings and brackets, which they aren't designed for.

Lifting a vehicle changes the front axle geometry slightly, and drop brackets and even longer radius arms don't always keep the TTB/TIB in the stock position, so sure, pushing the axle forward can have 'benefits' by either just putting it back where it's supposed to be, or compensating for the additional friction of the wider, bigger tires and the wider track width, both of which push the beams back more than a vehicle with the stock tire size.

The real 'alignment' in terms of front beam positioning is the coil spring, which should be vertically aligned top and bottom. If the axle is pushed forward so the bottom coil spring mount is offset from the top coil spring mount, making the coil spring slightly diagonal, it's not going to give perfectly linear, vertical spring action, and will probably wear either the spring or the top and bottom mounts on the surfaces that are making contact as it shifts with suspension travel.

I've never needed to do such a thing on my own vehicle since I'm not running anything that throws off the alignment that much, but of the lifts I have helped install, usually between coil spring shims/washers and the alignment bushings, the alignment is good enough to wear the tires evenly. Like I said, if I needed to really mess with axle position, I would start from a base, where the axle needs to be, then position the radius arms and everything else based on that.
 






Still disagree. If the less amount of tire scrubbing during full-lock turns (maneuvering while parking, etc.) wearing out the outer edges of your tires is not a benefit, then I guess I don't know what is (and it's not just TTB/TIBs that do this, I see poor ackerman response on many different makes, models, and types of vehicle suspensions. The TTB just happens to be one you are able to effect some change to it by changing the positioning of the axle relative to the steering box & linkage).
And like the bushings, the coils are quite very resilient of a slight misalignment of the mounts. Putting in coil spacers or longer coils as a 'leveling' lift misaligns the lower spring mount (it's angle) FAR more than moving the axle forward due to the radius arm rotating the axle downward (not to mention the far greater angle this puts on the pivot bushings too), yet we rarely hear about similar issues in those areas stemming from leveling lifts (radius arm bushing issues w/leveling lifts OTOH are not unheardof with stock arms but we were talking about application of extended arms here initially).

Since you've admitted to not having done what I have described (nor appear to have researched it), you can't know what I am saying isn't true.
If the OEM design works for you, then I s'pose no need to mess around with it. But to say it cannot be improved upon without fully understanding it is a bit misleading.
 






Still disagree. If the less amount of tire scrubbing during full-lock turns (maneuvering while parking, etc.) wearing out the outer edges of your tires is not a benefit, then I guess I don't know what is (and it's not just TTB/TIBs that do this, I see poor ackerman response on many different makes, models, and types of vehicle suspensions. The TTB just happens to be one you are able to effect some change to it by changing the positioning of the axle relative to the steering box & linkage).

If you push the beams forward more (beyond perfect alignment of -1 to +1 degree toe in/out), that will give toe-in, and cause the outer shoulder wear of the tires.

If a vehicle has poor alignment and can't be corrected with the alignment bushings, or you're just suggesting forcing the beams forward as an 'alternative' method of getting the 'correct' tire position, that doesn't change the desired end result, just the method.


And like the bushings, the coils are quite very resilient of a slight misalignment of the mounts. Putting in coil spacers or longer coils as a 'leveling' lift misaligns the lower spring mount (it's angle) FAR more than moving the axle forward due to the radius arm rotating the axle downward (not to mention the far greater angle this puts on the pivot bushings too), yet we rarely hear about similar issues in those areas stemming from leveling lifts (radius arm bushing issues w/leveling lifts OTOH are not unheardof with stock arms but we were talking about application of extended arms here initially).

You're confusing coil alignment front-to-back with coil alignment side-to-side.

Because of the arc the TTB/TIB travels in, stuffing in 1-2 inch lift coils (or coil spacers) without using drop brackets works because the beams still travel in that same exact arc, even though the lower mount is effectively "moved" slighty toward the center of the vehicle. It's nothing more than lifting the vehicle by reducing the suspension droop - pushing the suspension down beyond the stock position to lift the vehicle up.

Moving that lower mount forward is not the same, as it's moving the lower mount in a direction completely out of that arc.

There's some leeway, sure, but the upper spring mounts are made to have the springs sit a certain way. When that lower mount is moved foward, the upper part of the spring now pushes more on the part of the top coil closest to the front of the vehicle, and not equally around the entire top coil.


Since you've admitted to not having done what I have described (nor appear to have researched it), you can't know what I am saying isn't true.
If the OEM design works for you, then I s'pose no need to mess around with it. But to say it cannot be improved upon without fully understanding it is a bit misleading.

Not sure what you're implying here. I should go out and throw my vehicles alignment out of whack by pushing the beams forward to prove to myself that it does exactly what any other misalignment does?

What you're talking about doesn't sound like any kind of 'improvement'. It sounds like you're just talking about pushing the beams forward on a lifted vehicle to get the alignment correct.

There's no case where pushing the beams forward to intentionally misalign the tires (past the point where they are already 'perfectly' aligned, taking into account being pushed back when driving forward) magically makes them aligned even better.

They're either aligned or they aren't. You can do it with the beams, you can do it with the suspension hardware, you can do it with spacers and bushings, but however you do it, aligned is aligned.

The best possible case for a TTB/TIB alignment is where the top and bottom of the spring is not shifted forward or back, and the beams are positioned for this.

If, for the spring (and the suspension overall) to be in the correct (aligned) position, or for the wheels to wear evently, the beams have to be shoved forward, there's some other issue, either with a bent bracket/beam/frame, or the caster/camber settings plus those particular tires just wear better with additional toe-in, that you're creating by shoving the beams forward instead of changing the alignment bushings.

Like I said, if what you have done works for you, great. That doesn't mean it's a broad, general truth that applies to all TTB/TIB suspensions, or that it's a general improvement that is being misunderstood.
 






If you push the beams forward more (beyond perfect alignment of -1 to +1 degree toe in/out), that will give toe-in, and cause the outer shoulder wear of the tires.

If a vehicle has poor alignment and can't be corrected with the alignment bushings, or you're just suggesting forcing the beams forward as an 'alternative' method of getting the 'correct' tire position, that doesn't change the desired end result, just the method.
Once again, the toe alignment is adjusted at the tierods (steering linkage).
Moving the beams forward has nothing to do with correcting a poor alignment, or to correct a tire position issue (well, it does get the tire further away from your firewall so you can run bigger ones). Nor is it an 'alternative' means to do anything (ok, it is an alternative to cutting the arms off your steering knuckles and then rewelding them back on at a different angle in hopes of making an appearance on the Scary Steering page, and is easier than drilling & modifying the frame to move the steering box itself).


You're confusing coil alignment front-to-back with coil alignment side-to-side.

Because of the arc the TTB/TIB travels in, stuffing in 1-2 inch lift coils (or coil spacers) without using drop brackets works because the beams still travel in that same exact arc, even though the lower mount is effectively "moved" slighty toward the center of the vehicle. It's nothing more than lifting the vehicle by reducing the suspension droop - pushing the suspension down beyond the stock position to lift the vehicle up.

Moving that lower mount forward is not the same, as it's moving the lower mount in a direction completely out of that arc.

There's some leeway, sure, but the upper spring mounts are made to have the springs sit a certain way. When that lower mount is moved foward, the upper part of the spring now pushes more on the part of the top coil closest to the front of the vehicle, and not equally around the entire top coil.

Not really. Putting a leveling coil or spacer in there causes the lower mount to become angled out of line with the coil's axis just the same (if not more so) because the axle is rotated downward by it lifting the vehicle, which in many cases puts a quite significant bow forward on the coil. The coil itself doesn't care whether it's because the axle was rotated slightly, or because the upper mount was shifted back relative to it.
You would be correct to say that a leveling lift doesn't affect placement of the upper coil bucket, but again, the coil really doesn't care because they are designed to flex as their normal mode of operation (you seem to think this is like some really radical change that's going to screw everything up... lol It's not. We're talking like one inch here, if that even. It's well within the 'leeway' you mention).




Not sure what you're implying here. I should go out and throw my vehicles alignment out of whack by pushing the beams forward to prove to myself that it does exactly what any other misalignment does?
*Nothing is being misaligned. But if you WANT to go purposely throw yours out of alignment, then be my guest. :)

What you're talking about doesn't sound like any kind of 'improvement'. It sounds like you're just talking about pushing the beams forward on a lifted vehicle to get the alignment correct.
*again, it doesn't matter if the vehicle is lifted or not. the effect of it is just the same

There's no case where pushing the beams forward to intentionally misalign the tires (past the point where they are already 'perfectly' aligned, taking into account being pushed back when driving forward) magically makes them aligned even better.
*Yet once again, nothing is being intentionally misaligned. And if the beams are moving from being pushed around by driving forces, maybe you need new bushings (not really sure what you mean with that).

They're either aligned or they aren't. You can do it with the beams, you can do it with the suspension hardware, you can do it with spacers and bushings, but however you do it, aligned is aligned.
*Still aligned they are

The best possible case for a TTB/TIB alignment is where the top and bottom of the spring is not shifted forward or back, and the beams are positioned for this.
*Perhaps in theory, but maybe you aren't aware, not every OEM design is 100% perfect

If, for the spring (and the suspension overall) to be in the correct (aligned) position, or for the wheels to wear evently, the beams have to be shoved forward, there's some other issue, either with a bent bracket/beam/frame, or the caster/camber settings plus those particular tires just wear better with additional toe-in, that you're creating by shoving the beams forward instead of changing the alignment bushings.
*Just the issue of the steering linkage (box) being a slight bit forward of ideal. Nothing else.

Like I said, if what you have done works for you, great. That doesn't mean it's a broad, general truth that applies to all TTB/TIB suspensions, or that it's a general improvement that is being misunderstood.


It's obvious you don't understand what Ackerman is. It has nothing to do with aligning the wheels in a conventional manner (camber bushings, toe, etc.). It has to do with the amount each front wheel steers in a turn so that the tires don't scuff across the surface in turns. Maybe this might help.
 






Once again, the toe alignment is adjusted at the tierods (steering linkage).
Moving the beams forward has nothing to do with correcting a poor alignment, or to correct a tire position issue (well, it does get the tire further away from your firewall so you can run bigger ones). Nor is it an 'alternative' means to do anything (ok, it is an alternative to cutting the arms off your steering knuckles and then rewelding them back on at a different angle in hopes of making an appearance on the Scary Steering page, and is easier than drilling & modifying the frame to move the steering box itself).

If the alignment is already set at 'perfect', and you push the beams forward, you're just re-adjusting the toe angle at the tie rods to compensate for the toe-in you caused.

Again, there's 'aligned' and 'not aligned'. There is no 'better than perfect' alignment caused by pushing the beams forward.


Not really. Putting a leveling coil or spacer in there causes the lower mount to become angled out of line with the coil's axis just the same (if not more so) because the axle is rotated downward by it lifting the vehicle, which in many cases puts a quite significant bow forward on the coil. The coil itself doesn't care whether it's because the axle was rotated slightly, or because the upper mount was shifted back relative to it.
You would be correct to say that a leveling lift doesn't affect placement of the upper coil bucket, but again, the coil really doesn't care because they are designed to flex as their normal mode of operation (you seem to think this is like some really radical change that's going to screw everything up... lol It's not. We're talking like one inch here, if that even. It's well within the 'leeway' you mention).

The lower coil mount isn't really 'moved' sideways when a spacer or slightly longer coil is used, it's just forcing the beam down more, within its arc of downward travel.

The suspension, by design, doesn't arc forward that one inch offset you wind up with if you push the beams forward.


It's obvious you don't understand what Ackerman is. It has nothing to do with aligning the wheels in a conventional manner (camber bushings, toe, etc.). It has to do with the amount each front wheel steers in a turn so that the tires don't scuff across the surface in turns. Maybe this might help.

I understand what Ackerman is, but it's designed into the steering of the system. There is no 'improving' it by forcing the TTB/TIB beams forward.

Perhaps you're mistaking pushing the beams foward for an 'improvement', when all you're getting is faster turn-in - the same thing caused by simply adding toe via any other method. You might also be getting easier steering from a smaller caster angle, or better camber during cornering if you've caused a larger caster angle. It's a common alignment setting on high-performance vehicles, especially those used in racing, since the additional toe and outside shoulder tire wear caused by it actually offsets the inner shoulder tire wear caused by negative camber, and tire pressures are usually ran high enough that it all works together to get some pretty evenly wearing tires on the street, though the ride quality isn't that great.
 



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that is what exactly what im lookin for and wanting to do. where can I find that particular part?
 






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